Since prehistoric times, seeds have been a significant source of sustenance. Consuming seeds, such as chia and pumpkin seeds, has been associated with several health advantages. Seeds are rich in nutrients, including fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Incorporating seeds into your diet can help you achieve your recommended daily intake of nutrients and may reduce your risk of heart disease and several types of cancer.1.

These six seeds are the healthiest ones you can consume

1. Seeds from Pumpkins

Edible seeds taken out of pumpkins are called pepitas or pumpkin seeds. The following is a nutritional analysis of one ounce, or 1/4 cup, of roasted pumpkin seeds:2.

  • Calories: 163
  • Protein: 8.45 grams (g)
  • Carbs: 4.17 g
  • Fiber: 1.84 g
  • Fat: 13.9 g
  • Copper: 0.36 milligrams (mg) or 40% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Iron: 2.29 mg or 13% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 156 mg or 37% of the DV
  • Zinc: 2.17 mg or 20% of the DV

Roasted pumpkin seeds are a popular snack and addition to baked products, salads, and trail mix because of their nutty, slightly sweet flavor. They’re a great supply of important minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, zinc, and plant-based protein. Three-quarters of your daily requirements for magnesium, a mineral important in blood pressure, blood sugar, and stress management, are met by one ounce of pumpkin seeds.

They also include high concentrations of zinc, a mineral essential for immune system performance, growth and development, DNA synthesis, and skin health, as well as copper and iron, two elements required for the manufacture of red blood cells.3.

Pumpkin seeds are an excellent option for people who follow plant-based or low-carb eating patterns because they are low in carbohydrates and high in heart-healthy lipids and plant-based protein.

2. Seeds of Hemp

The edible fruits of the Cannabis sativa L. plant are called hemp seeds. Hemp seeds have gained popularity over the past 20 years as more people become aware of its remarkable nutritional advantages, despite the fact that they were formerly thought of as a byproduct of the hemp fiber business and were mostly utilized for animal feed.4

The following is a nutritional analysis of one ounce, or 1/4 cup, of hemp seeds:

  • Calories: 166
  • Protein: 9.48 g
  • Carbs: 2.6 g
  • Fiber: 1.2 g
  • Fat: 14.6 g
  • B6: 0.18 mg or 11% of the DV
  • Copper: 0.48 mg or 53% of the DV
  • Iron: 2.38 mg or 13% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 210 mg or 50% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 495 mg or 40% of the DV
  • Zinc: 2.97 mg or 27% of the DV

Among the healthiest seeds you can consume are hemp seeds, which are high in protein, fiber, healthy fats, and several important vitamins and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and B6. Given their high content of nutrients like protein, fat, and magnesium—all essential for both stress management and proper brain function—hemp seeds may be particularly good for mental health. Studies reveal that persons who experience stress on a regular basis tend to have lower blood levels of magnesium than people who don’t experience stress. Magnesium plays a significant part in the body’s stress response.6

Furthermore, some studies indicate that mental health issues like anxiety, sadness, and post-traumatic stress disorder are more common in those with lower blood levels of magnesium.7.

Increasing the amount of foods high in magnesium, such as hemp seeds, may assist raise your levels of the mineral and promote mental wellness. Half an ounce of hemp seeds provides half of your daily required amount of this vitamin.

3. Chia Seeds

The plant Salvia hispanica L. produces chia seeds. Chia seeds are little yet mighty in terms of nutrition.

The nutritional breakdown of one ounce of chia seeds is as follows:8

  • Calories: 138
  • Protein: 4.86 g
  • Carbohydrates: 11.9 g
  • Fiber: 9.75 g
  • Fat: 8.7 g
  • Calcium: 179 mg or 14% of the DV
  • Iron: 2.19 mg or 12% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 95 mg or 23% of the DV
  • Manganese: 0.771 mg or 34% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 244 mg or 20% of the DV
  • Selenium: 15.6 micrograms (mcg) or 28% of the DV
  • Zinc: 1.3 mg or 12% of the DV

Chia seeds are a great way to get a variety of minerals, including selenium, magnesium, and manganese. Additionally, they are incredibly high in fiber, with one ounce serving providing about 35% of your daily fiber requirements.

Chia seeds are one of the high-fiber foods that can help you maintain healthy blood lipid levels, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, while also supporting your digestive system. Rich in soluble fiber, chia seeds help to enhance the elimination of cholesterol and reduce its absorption in the digestive system. Consuming chia seeds was found to be beneficial for reducing levels of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in a review of ten research published in 2021. Additionally, the review discovered that eating chia seeds can raise HDL cholesterol levels, which are heart-protective.9.

Furthermore, research has indicated that include chia seeds in your diet may help lower blood pressure and blood sugar, which may enhance heart health and minimize the risk of heart disease.10

4. Sesame Seeds

The plant known as Sesamum indicum L., which has been grown for more than 5,000 years, is the source of sesame seeds. Sesame seeds can be added to desserts, breads, crackers, and meat meals, in addition to being used to manufacture sesame oil and sesame products like tahini.11

The following is a nutritional analysis of a serving of two tablespoons of dry sesame seeds:The Department of Agriculture, United States. FoodData Central. sesame seeds, whole and dehydrated.

  • Calories: 103.2
  • Protein: 3.18 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.22 g
  • Fiber: 2.12 g
  • Fat: 8.94 g
  • Calcium: 175.6 mg or 14% of the DV
  • Copper: 0.734 mg or 82% of the DV
  • Iron: 2.62 mg or 15% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 63.2 mg or 15% of the DV
  • Manganese: 0.442 mg or 19% of the DV
  • Selenium: 6.2 mcg or 11% of the DV
  • Thiamine: 0.142 mg or 12% of the DV
  • Zinc: 1.39 mg or 13% of the DV

Even in modest amounts, sesame seeds pack a powerful nutritional punch. Sesame seeds are a great way to increase your nutritional intake because a two-tablespoon serving provides more than 10% of your daily requirements for calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, thiamine, and zinc.

Consuming sesame seeds can help raise blood antioxidant levels and lower indicators of inflammation and oxidative stress. Sesame seeds are also rich in beneficial plant chemicals, such as carotenoids, flavonoids, lignans, and polyphenols.Thirteen

Eating sesame seeds and products made from them, such as tahini, has also been demonstrated to be beneficial in lowering heart disease risk factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol. It may also help prevent atherosclerosis, which is the thickening or hardening of the arteries brought on by a buildup of plaque.Thirteen

5. Seeds of Flax

The flowering plant flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) yields extremely nutritious seeds that have potential health benefits.

The following is a nutritional analysis of two tablespoons of whole flaxseeds:14

  • Calories: 110
  • Protein: 3.76 g
  • Carbohydrates: 5.96 g
  • Fiber: 5.62 g
  • Fat: 8.7 g
  • Copper: 0.25 mg or 28% of the DV
  • Iron: 1.18 mg or 7% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 80.8 mg or 19% of the DV
  • Manganese: 0.51 mg or 22% of the DV
  • Thiamine: 0.338 mg or 38% of the DV
  • Selenium: 5.24 mcg or 10% of the DV
  • Zinc: 0.894 mg or 8% of the DV

Copper, magnesium, and selenium are among the many vitamins and minerals that are abundant in flaxseeds.

Additionally, these seeds are a high source of fiber, which is beneficial to digestive health. Flaxseeds have been demonstrated to be a successful natural remedy for constipation and, by promoting the growth of advantageous probiotic bacteria, may help maintain a generally better gut environment.15

Increased consumption of high-fiber flaxseeds can enhance blood sugar regulation and lower heart disease risk factors including high cholesterol, in addition to promoting good bowel motions and a balanced microbiota. According to a 2019 study, treating type 2 diabetics with 10 grams of flaxseed twice daily for 12 weeks reduced their constipation, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels more effectively than psyllium husk.16

In addition, eating 15 grams of flaxseed before breakfast decreased post-meal blood sugar by 17% when compared to a control breakfast, according to a 2022 study that involved 19 men with type 2 diabetes.17

6. Seeds of Sunflowers

Sunflower seeds are a common snack item, usually eaten raw from their shell. Essential elements including vitamin E, selenium, and good fats are abundant in these seeds.

The following is a nutritional analysis of one ounce of shelled sunflower seed kernels:18

  • Calories: 155
  • Protein: 5.47 g
  • Carbs: 4.34 g
  • Fiber: 2.55 g
  • Fat: 14.1 g
  • Vitamin E: 7.4 mg or 49% of the DV
  • B6: 0.228 mg or 13% of the DV
  • Folate: 67.2 mcg or 17% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 329 mg or 26% of the DV
  • Copper: 0.519 mg or 58% of the DV
  • Selenium: 22.5 mcg or 41% of the DV
  • Zinc: 1.5 mg or 14% of the DV

While sunflower seeds are a rich source of several vitamins and minerals, they are particularly strong in copper, selenium, and vitamin E—all of which are important for optimum health. A single ounce of sunflower seeds supplies over half of your daily requirements for vitamin E, a nutrient that is soluble in fat and acts as a potent antioxidant to shield the body from cellular damage that could otherwise result in illness.19

Selenium, a mineral with antioxidant qualities essential for thyroid function and reproductive health, is also abundant in sunflower seeds.20

Sunflower seeds are a good source of fiber and plant-based protein in addition to vitamins and minerals. These nutrients can help you feel fuller after eating and maintain your weight.2122

Advice for Eating More Seeds

Consider including more seeds in your diet if you’re seeking for a technique to increase the amount of nutrients you consume. Not only are seeds a great source of protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, but they can be used in savory as well as sweet recipes because of their versatility.

Incorporate additional seeds into your diet in the following ways:

  • Toss seeds into grain bowls and salads to add crunch and extra nutrition.
  • Process the hemp, pumpkin, or sunflower seeds in a food processor until smooth to make your own seed butter.
  • Incorporate seeds into your preferred breakfast foods, such as chia pudding, yogurt, and oatmeal.
  • Add seeds to oatmeal, energy snacks, and homemade trail mix.
  • When making breads, muffins, and crackers, include seeds.
  • For a satisfying snack, combine a handful of mixed seeds with a slice of fresh fruit.
  • Don’t be scared to experiment in your kitchen with different seeds; they can be added to a variety of other recipes.

Possible Hazards When Consuming Seeds

For the majority of people, seeds are a safe and healthful option, but those who have a seed allergy should steer clear.

Furthermore, eating fibrous foods like seeds might cause bloating and gas in people who aren’t used to eating a diet high in fiber.

To lower the risk of gastrointestinal side effects, it is advised to gradually increase your intake of foods high in fiber if your diet is currently poor in this area.23

A Brief Recap

Chia, pumpkin, and hemp seeds are among the many seeds that are rich in essential components for good health, including fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Eating seeds can help you fulfill your daily nutritional needs, but studies also suggest that eating a diet high in seeds can enhance blood sugar regulation, promote digestive health, and reduce heart disease risk factors including high blood pressure and cholesterol.

If you’re looking for a quick and tasty approach to get healthier, try include some of the seeds mentioned above in your diet.

Topics #Best Seeds #Improve Your Health